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The Trump administration’s disdain for factual information has become abundantly clear from the misrepresentations uttered by Trump’s aides in recent days, such as press secretary Sean Spicer’s inaccurate affirmations about the inaugural crowd sizes, as well as senior advisor Kellyanne Conway’s use of the Orwellian word “alternative facts” to describe Spicer’s figures.
The world of dubious assertions extends deeper, though, to Trump’s version of whitehouse.gov, where some of the information presented just days into the new administration is … questionable, if not outright wrong.
Let’s take a look at some of the assertions presented in the White House site’s “issues” section.
It’s true in the narrowest sense, but misinforming without context. First, murders went way up in some cities while they stayed even or declined in others over that year. For example, in New York City, reported murders in New York City fell to 335 assassinations in 2016, down from 352 in 2015, and route down from a whopping 2,262 in 1990.
Secondly and this is where Trump’s statement starts to sound disingenuous murders in the U.S. as a whole have declined by around half since 1993, and criminologists say that single-year changes can overshadow this long-term trend.
When it comes to climate change and energy policies, the new administration is focused on rolling back the Obama administration’s programs to cut greenhouse gas emissions and opening up more oil and gas resources to drilling.
To justify this approach, the website asserts that eliminating Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which includes regulations on emissions from power plants, as well as clean water regulations will increase American wages “by more than $30 billion over the next seven years.”
Sounds great, right?
Trouble is, it’s a made-up claim. The nonprofit the investigations and journalism group Climate Central debunked this on Friday.
Turns out that this $30 billion figure comes from a non-peer reviewed newspaper written by a finance professor at Louisiana State University in 2015, and it was written for a fossil fuel industry organization. The paper didn’t analyze the specific power plant regulations the Trump administration wants to repeal, which attains the administration’s assert dubious from the start.
Instead, the paper’s writer wrote about the potential economic impacts that the U.S. might expect if it began drilling for more fossil fuels from public lands. Its conclusions are scarcely robust enough to base national policy decisions on, given that they don’t factor in the costs that will come from climate damages. The paper reportedly doesn’t correctly analyze the combined effects of removing regulations, either, which also includes costs.
The White House site also stimulates no mention of how academics and the previous administration have said that the environmental regulations Trump seeks to dismantle would themselves boost part of the economy.
For example, in justifying its regulations in the first place, the Environmental Protection Agency( EPA) calculated that the overall economic benefits of power plant carbon emissions reductions would be in the tens of billions of dollars a year.
The administration also claims that the U.S. is sitting on $50 trillion( that’s trillion with a ‘t’) “in untapped shale, petroleum, and natural gas reserves.”
It’s true that there are huge amounts of coal, gas and petroleum that the U.S. has not used to its economic benefit, but that’s because it can’t. The costs to get to much of these resources are prohibitive, inducing the number which, to begin with, comes from a Trump advisor rather than any authoritative analyze a dream figure more than anything, according to Climate Central .
This White House page also laments the size of the U.S. Navy, lamenting that the military’s ocean branch has shrunk from more than 500 boats in 1991 to 275 in 2016.
This, like the crime statistics from earlier, is accurate in a specific sense and misleading when given context.
Specifically, the emphasis on ship numbers ignores technological progress when it is necessary to weaponry. That type of drop-off attains it seem as though the Navy is weak, but experts say the U.S. Navy is far and away the strongest in the world. As ships have grown more technologically capable, we’ve required fewer of them to cover the same area. And, if size genuinely does matter, the U.S. still has more aircraft carriers than all other nations blended( as of late 2015 ).
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